Naziha Arebi

Libya, United Kingdom, Netherlands, USA, Qatar, Lebanon, Canada, 2018 / 97 min / Arabic & English OV with English subt. / documentary

Ciné-ONU, in collaboration with Time for Equality

A portrait of contemporary Libya through the story of three women fighting for their right to play football after the Arab Spring.

Emboldened by the Arab Spring, three Libyan women see their dream of becoming professional football players for the first time as a real possibility well within reach. However, their sport faces huge opposition in their home country and as Libya descends into civil war and repression in the aftermath of the revolution, their hopes come crashing down. Shot over the period of five years, we see how these women from different social and political backgrounds have to fight for room to manoeuvre, both in public and private life, in order to play their sport. Even though they experience disillusionment, they seize new opportunities and keep pursuing their dream – and almost accidentally find their calling as role models for a new generation of girls. As personal stories weave into the history of a country, the portrayal of these women’s lives accounts for Libya’s political state.

An intimate film about hope, struggle and sacrifice in a land where dreams seem a luxury. A love letter to sisterhood and the power of team spirit.

“[The documentary’s strength] is that Arebi doesn’t polarise the arguments. Rather than creating a girls against society polemic in a battle against the community and religion, [she] shows how the girls try to balance their own religious beliefs, love of football and respect for the norms of public life.” Kaleem Aftab, The National, 08/10/2019


Ciné-ONU / United Nations Cinema is one of UNRIC Brussels’ flagship outreach activities on  UN and global issues.

Ciné-ONU consists of film screenings and debates by film makers and/or experts in the field on UN issues and is organised on a bi-monthly basis in cooperation with other UN agencies, partners such as the European Commission, embassies, NGOs and government offices.

Ciné-ONU events are free of charge and are now widely anticipated in Brussels, Lisbon, Cologne, Luxembourg, Madrid, London, Rome, Helsinki, Stockholm, Geneva and Vienna and between 2007 and 2019, reached over 100,000 people from NGOs, academia, European institutions, the media, business, government and the general public in more than 200 events throughout Europe.

For more information on Ciné-ONU and to see previous films we have screened, please go to: and


Time For Equality

Time for Equality is a non-profit association based in Luxembourg since 2014. Their mission is to contribute to a fair and inclusive society built on respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, equity and justice. Time For Equality undertakes several initiatives to raise awareness and lobby on current social issues of urgency both within and across borders. They believe in the power of the arts and human stories to inspire civil society to take responsibility. True to their motto “Learn, Share, Act”, their initiatives not only sensitise the public but also motivate them to answer the question “What can I do?” They promote projects, campaigns, and actions through which each one of us can be part of the solution. For more information visit their website which has been recognised in the Top 50 Gender Equality Blogs and Websites.

Sun 15/03 14:00 Ciné Utopia Arabic & EN OV with EN subt. Public

“This superbly made, stirring documentary introduces us to what you might call Fadwa’s 11 – the fledgling Libyan women’s football team. […] The women’s courage and perseverance, as well as their enormous potential symbolic impact for Arab society, shows up Hollywood hashtag feminism for what it is.” Phil Hoad, The Guardian, 30/05/2019

“Empowering, vibrant and vital.” Charlotte Harrison, Cultbox, 31/05/2019

Freedom Fields is edgy, carrying the audience into an increasingly complex space, yet one that is constantly illuminated by the smiles and wit of the women. And, despite the darker moments, it remains a story of human endeavour, infused with hope and lined with dark Libyan humour.” Tom Westcott, Middle East Eye, 30/05/19

Cast & Credits
Naziha Arebi
Naziha Arebi
Giovanni Buccomino
Katya Mihailova
HuNa Productions, SDI Productions

Naziha Arebi is an artist and filmmaker of Libyan and British origins. She returned to Libya after the revolution to work and explore her father’s homeland and subsequently worked extensively in the MENA (Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan) region. Naziha Arebi works at the intersection of art and activism, and is the co-founder of the HuNa film collective. Besides producing various short films, she created artworks that have been published in print and exhibited globally. She is a HotDocs Blue Ice and Sundance Lab fellow, and part of the Lumière d’Afrique collective. Alongside her first feature documentary Freedom Fields (2018), she is currently producing the documentary After A Revolution and is working on a fiction film in development.

  • 2018 – Freedom Fields (documentaire / documentary / Dokumentarfilm)
  • 2013 – Granny’s Flags (court-métrage documentaire / documentary short / Dokumentarkurzfilm)